Turkey recently announced a new scheme for regulating meal cards, which are a common benefit scheme offered to employees. The new rules address a variety of issues, including payment terms and compulsory clauses for contracts between meal card entities and retail businesses. The new rules also apply to applications and online systems which fulfil the same task as meal cards.

The Regulation Amending the Regulation on Principles and Rules for Retail Business ("Amendment Regulation") was published in Official Gazette number 30428 on 22 May 2018.

Notable aspects of the new rules include:

  • Meal card entities cannot make any discounts to the employers which they deal with.
  • Meal card entities cannot charge more than 6% commission to retail businesses.
  • Meal card entities must not receive any payment from retailers besides the agreed commission.
  • Payments by employers to meal card entities, or by meal card entities to retailers must be made within 30 days.
  • Remaining meal card balances at the end of each month or year will be transferred to the next month or year's balance.
  • The Amendment Regulation does not apply to:

    • Fuel cards.
    • Gift cards.
    • Incentive cards.
    • Accommodation cards.
  • A card can include other schemes (besides meals) if the payments can be separated.
  • Meal card entities must notify the Ministry of Customs and Trade before they start operations.
  • Entities currently providing meal card services must notify the Ministry of Customs and Trade by 22 August 2018.

Please see this link for the full text of the Amendment Regulation (only available in Turkish).

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.